About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Broccoli and Anchovy Sauce | Main | Pesto by the Food Processor Method »

Tomato and Anchovy Sauce

Marcella recommends spaghettini, the thin version of spaghetti as the preferred pasta for this sauce. I didn't think this was significant until the penultimate step in the recipe, when the sauce is combined with the cooked pasta and all the strands of the pasta are coated. The thinner the pasta, the more sauce on the pasta, the better the end result. Good advice, Marcella.

One ingredient in the photo below is problematic for my spouse. She doesn't care for anchovies in any form. Ah well, in this enterprise my loyalty belongs to Marcella. By the way, Marcella provides detailed directions on the preparation of the anchovy fillets when purchased in large tins under salt. The only anchovies available in my area are packed in oil in smaller tins.

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Step 3 in the recipe directions results in this rather unusual apparition - a homemade double-boiler.

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The sauce - oil, garlic, anchovies, salt, pepper and tomatoes - cooking at a steady simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

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The final result.

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The most surprising ingredient in this recipe is one that isn't there. No grated cheese. I had to check a couple of times to make sure I hadn't missed it.

What did my spouse, the anchovy-phobe, think of this dish? "It's delicious," was her first comment. No problems with anchovies when prepared like this.

This recipe is easy to prepare and the results are excellent - a winning combination. Thanks Marcella.



Comments (4)

Marcella Hazan:

I have grown a little less dogmatic about whether or not to use parmigiano in a dish, but I am absolutely irremovable when it comes to a soup or sauce with anchovies. It is, in just 4 words, in-com-pa-tible! If you have to add something, add bread crumbs. The sprinkling of cheese over everything is one of the more regrettable clichés of Italian-American cooking.

As I think I have mentioned elsewhere, when I lived in New York there were Greek grocers who sold marvelous meaty whole anchovies under salt pried loose from a large tin. I no longer see them around, but good, flat anchovy fillets such as those by Ortiz or Recca do the job. The ones in your photo, Doug, look terrific. You evidently did a great a job that brought your wife around. Thank you for getting the point of spaghettini. Unfortunately they are not even that easy to find. I buy them online from Chefshop.

I'm really enjoying this blog - and Marcella's generous contributions in the comments which are like a director's commentary to a classic film - but woudn't it make more sense to break the meals up rather than cooking the same type of food until it runs out (if that is what you are doing) eg have a meat dish, and a salad and so on. You could even structure the days so they read in sequence like an Italian meal. As they say, Man cannot live on pasta alone. I think it would just be more interesting for everyone, including you guys.

Pomodori e Vino responds:

Thanks David, for your comments and suggestions. Acutally, a lot of careful thought went into how we put this project together and designed the format and appearance of the blog.

We wanted to create a blog that focuses the posts on single recipes and follows the book, page for page, so that when our 62 weeks come to an end, there will be an orderly and complete record.

Ideally, a person who wants to learn Italian cooking from Marcella, will purchase a copy of Essentials; study it like a textbook; choose the recipes he wants to attempt; and then come to our blog, knowing that he can easily search for the post about that recipe and see at least one if not a series of photographs from our own results.

The bonus, of course, is the wonderful and generous comments Marcella makes here. None of us expected that. But we are thrilled, and honored. To us, it is the next best thing to having been one of her students in Venice.

Because we focus on each recipe in order, doesn't mean we don't also prepare a meal to go with the particular recipe we are featuring. Or that we don't do our cooking out of order. In fact, most of us have already cooked and saved our documentations for the veggie section, simply because their posting schedule falls in the dead of winter when some produce will be unavailable our of inferior quality.

Marcella Hazan:

I need to amend that bit about cheese, I was too impetuous in my response. There are always exceptions, and with anchovies these take the form of a little romano cheese sometimes. With a tough pasta like orecchiette or cavatelli, I allow myself some romano. With spaghettini, however, no. On the other hand, de gustibus ...

Doug, as always, I really enjoy the journey of your photographs. First the assembled ingredients, the various steps of the process and then the finished dish.

My husband and I adore anchovies, both fresh and preserved. We are lucky that we are able purchase the ones packed in salt, they are available in our area.

We sometimes have dinner guests that do not appreciate anchovies as we do. But when we serve a Marcella pasta sauce that has anchovies, they are never aware of the fact they are eating a sauce that contains anchovies! I think maybe it is because with Marcella's recipes, they simply add a layer of flavor, nothing to overwhelm or overpower the dish, just a subtle addition?

I am glad your wife liked the dish! Bravo!

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